Tag Archives: Music

In Baghdad Ruins, Remains of a Cultural Bridge

Reproduced from The New York Times


Published: May 21, 2010


BAGHDAD — Report No. 25, dated April 4 and written by Col. Qais Hussein, was clinical, the anonymous survey of an explosion in a city where explosions are ordinary.

 “Material damage: significant,” it declared of the car bomb that was detonated last month near the Egyptian Embassy, killing 17 people. “The burning of 10 cars + the burning of a house, which was in front of the embassy, with moderate damage to 10 surrounding houses.”

Colonel Hussein’s report didn’t mention the hundreds of books, from plays of Chekhov to novels of the Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani, stored in bags, boxes and a stairwell. It didn’t speak of the paintings there of Shaker Hassan, one of Iraq’s greatest, or the sculptures of his compatriot, Mohammed Ghani Hikmat. There was no note of the stone brought from an exile’s birthplace in Bethlehem that helped build the house as a cosmopolitan refuge bridging West and East.

Nor did Colonel Hussein’s report mention that the home belonged to Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, a renowned Arab novelist, poet, painter, critic and translator who built it along the date palms and mulberry trees of Princesses’ Street nearly a half-century ago and lived there until his death in 1994.

This is not a story about an outpouring of grief over its destruction. There were no commemorations, few tributes. As Fadhil Thamer, a critic, said, “People here have seen too much.”

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Filed under Identity, Iraq, Literature, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Religion, Terrorism, USA, violence, war

Music vs. Militancy

Cross Post from Dawn Blogs

By Salman Siddiqui on January 21, 2010

Even though Pakistan is bleeding from terrorism and suicide bombings, no mainstream , pop music artist has come close to condemning or questioning the spread of militancy through music and lyrics. A recent video from The New York Times highlighted this issue, showing how pop acts such as Ali Azmat and Noori were keeping quiet on the subjects of terror, religious extremism, and the Taliban, while railing against America through their songs. In this context, 25-year-old Daniyal Noorani‘s debut effort ‘Finding Heaven,’ which was released on YouTube a few days ago, is encouraging. The daring single takes the Taliban and religious extremists head on, creating quite a buzz online. Dawn.com speaks with Noorani to find out what prompted him to fill the ideological vacuum in our music scene.

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Filed under Activism, Blogging, culture, Left, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Media, Music, Pakistan, video

Independence Day 2: Hum Dekhain Gay

We shall see that which is promised to us one day.   This is dedicated to all the nay-sayers  out there.

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Independence Day 1: Yeh Watan Tumhara Hai

Pakistan Zindabad.  Courtesy Mobilink

Singer :  Mehdi Hasan

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The Taliban and music

 By Zubeida Mustafa

(Dawn 05/08/09)

In her latest book, The Case for God, Karen Armstrong describes music as ‘the limit of reason.’ She finds it inseparable from religious expression when religion is at ‘its best.’ We do not get the best demonstration of this connection in the Taliban brand of Islam. The faith practised by the Sufis, however, shows an intrinsic link between the two. Continue reading

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Filed under culture, Music, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Taliban

The Way You Make Me Feel…

By Aisha Sarwari

When an iconic figure like Michael Jackson stops breathing, it’s a sad moment.

There are those attempting to make it less of a sad moment, recounting news flashes about others dying in wars and drones, hunger and disease. True, that happens every day. Neglect is the cause of many unnecessary deaths; the sheer futility of life is astounding and its brutality crushes anything remotely resembling human spirit – This was the very significance of the Michael Jackson I knew, his songs from, We Are The World, They Don’t Really Care About Us and Heal The World are deeply politically astute and inspirational songs. Continue reading


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Michael Jackson’s Mark on Pakistan

Michael Jackson Made his Mark in Pakistan
By Catherine Maddux
IslamabadAP-Michael-Jackson-Pakistan-fans-26Jun09_210 Voice of America
Pakistani fans of Michael Jackson say they are shocked and saddened by the news of his sudden death. Jackson, who was often described as the most popular musician in the world, made his mark here in Pakistan, too.
Michael Jackson’s death led many of Pakistan’s local television channels Friday morning, knocking the near constant coverage of the military campaign against Taliban militants off the top of the news lineup, if only for a few hours. Continue reading


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